Presentation #432.01 in the session “Education and Public Engagement II: Broadening Participation in Education and Resources for Students”.
We introduce here the COOL-LAMPS Collaboration and Project — ChicagO Optically-selected strong Lenses - Located At the Margins of Public Surveys. Consisting primarily of a team of undergraduate students, COOL-LAMPS was initiated in December 2019 as part of a junior-level course at The University of Chicago, to find strongly lensed systems in recent ground-based public imaging survey data. Based on the pedagogical framework CURE (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience), this two-quarter class was funded for a central “field” activity - observations at a large research telescope. This research class has offered an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate the principles of an equitable classroom in action. We describe the motivation and framework of the classroom from the lens of inclusive teaching and research. We also discuss the practices employed towards creating this equitable classroom/research collaboration — meeting etiquettes like a stack of speakers (basic and progressive), individualized self- and instructor- evaluations, and extensive group work based on individual and team preferences, and lived experiences as undergraduates in their broader university community. Finally, we contextualize this first CURE-based course at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The University of Chicago as a first structured step in meeting the need for more offerings around this framework, with a variety of intellectual foci (theory, large scale computation, etc.)